Author Biography

Dr. Sheldon Greaves is an expert in the history, language, literature, religion, and material cultures of the Near East. He has studied this region for over twenty-five years and currently teaches courses in religious radicalism and covert organizations. Dr. Greaves is a co-founder of Henley- Putnam University, joining the original team in 1997. He is currently the Chief Academic Officer. In addition to his academic studies, Dr. Greaves developed courses and degree programs for the University, as well as broke new ground by helping to articulate the philosophical basis for securing state approval for degrees in executive protection, which had never before been granted for that field as a discrete academic discipline. Dr. Greaves is an accomplished linguist, having learned more than a dozen languages. He is also an expert on non-traditional education and research methods, and has been active in many areas of adult education, serving on the Board of the Society for Amateur Scientists from 2001 to 2004 and briefly starting and running an educational software company. He taught his first online course in 1992 through AOL on "The Dead Sea Scrolls." Dr. Greaves is a member of the Association for Intelligence Officers. He received his Ph.D. in Near Eastern Studies from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1996.



Subject Area Keywords

Intelligence studies/education, Intelligence analysis, National security, Security studies, Homeland security


The creation of Henley-Putnam University was an effort to create an academic institution for the purpose of offering degree programs in intelligence management, counterterrorism, and personal protection; subjects that arguably did not exist as academic disciplines when the school was conceived. The experience of two of the co-founders of the school, Nirmalya Bhowmick and Dr. Michael Corcoran, indicated that the training of officers tasked with vital security and intelligence work was carried out by partnering young officers with a training officer to help the new officer learn on the job. The effectiveness of this training depended to a great extent on the competence or interest of the training officer, as well as the types of jobs the new officer was given. The resulting training often lacked consistency and proper coverage. When Bhowmick began comparing notes with colleagues in similar agencies from other countries, he discovered that their experiences mirrored his.By contrast, Corcoran's experience with the US Secret Service includedmonths of training at the Treasury School and additional training atQuantico, VA, that included training usually given to FBI and Green Beret personnel—training that did not map neatly to the needs of a Secret Service agent. But once the new agents finished this training, they were not a training officer or officers as they began their new assignments. This meant that they were often left to their own devices when it came to figuring out how to manage tasks, such as intelligence collection, that had not been fully covered by their training. The experiences of Bhowmick and Corcoran were key to conceiving and writing the curricula for the university. The curricular development was also informed by a reassessment of the needs of the intelligence, counterterrorism, and protection officer, which continues to this day.